hckr.fyi // thoughts

Putting the World on a Solid Foundation

by Michael Szul on

When Apple TV+ released the first season of Foundation, I realized that I hadn't read Isaac Asimov's Foundation series at all—only being familiar with his robot tales.

Having New Thoughts

by Michael Szul on

I never really paid much attention to who Mitch Horowitz was until Douglas Rushkoff had him on a live special on Team Human. He seemed reasonably intelligent and had a good grasp on the occult.

Closing Chapters

by Michael Szul on

Yesterday I took my black gi from Kajukenbo and all my Kaj and Aikido belts and put them in the trash can. I studied Aikido in my 20's and did quite well at it until my progress was derailed by a relationship.

The Very Beginning of Madness

by Michael Szul on

When I first dove into the Internet I had started an ecommerce site during a time when you had to type "online bookstore" into Altavista in order to find Amazon on the web. People often laugh when I recollect being 16-17 years old and mailing cash to Amazon for books. For the first few years I even received free Christmas gifts from them for being a frequent shopper.

And All the Keys That Remain

by Michael Szul on

I mentioned previously that I pulled over a number of Codepunk and Apotheosis articles under hckr fyi to mostly represent a best of, and a consolidation of various writing projects over the decades. I was in the process of doing the same thing for Key 23 when I realized... there really wasn't much to bring over.

What Apotheosis Hath Wrought

by Michael Szul on

I promised myself that this new blog would not tetter off into the past with immersive odes to nostalgia. That is still the case; however, I do feel the need to close the book on a number of projects, and in doing so, consolidate some of those projects under the current domain name.

Uncoiling a Meaningful Art of Listening

by Michael Szul on

Coil's earlier work is harsh, masculine, and profound—a band interested in only making music for themselves, but there was always a hint of something more esoteric. This became more pronounced with the release of Love's Secret Domain and by the time the band entered their Moon Musick phase, that hint was a much fuller halucinatory experience.

More Than Two Decades Have Gone By

by Michael Szul on

As I start writing this, it's January 2nd, 2024. It will likely be published a few days later. The year has just turned over to a new number and tomorrow (January 3rd) will represent my 45th revolution around the sun.

Burning MVP Bridges (and Other Tales)

by Michael Szul on

I used to blog consistently. At peak, I was probably producing one high quality blog post a week on technology. I also co-produced one podcast and completely handled another.

Voodoo Gods in Cyberspace

by Michael Szul on

At the end of Neuromancer, the Wintermute artificial intelligence (with the help of Henry Case and Molly Millions) broke down the firewall preventing Wintermute from reaching the other artificial intelligence—the namesake of the book... Neuromancer.

Welcome Back to the Sprawl

by Michael Szul on

Some of you might be wondering where the original Codepunk podcast is. There was a lot of talk about building a Codepunk space in virtual reality (using Facebook Horizon... or Meta Horizon... or whatever it's called now)...

The Russian Internet

by Michael Szul on

The story of the Russian Internet is a story that reaches as far back as early dissendent papers and the birth of telecoms in the region. It's an interwoven story of the control of information from paper to sound waves to Internet packets aimed at philosophy, conspiracy, and journalism.

Are You Serious?

by Michael Szul on

I'm happy to see this entry for Apotheosis—not just because it's the 10th entry, but because it wraps up the Mondo 2000 3-parter, which followed on the heels of the Boing Boing 3-parter. Revisiting both publications/communities just reminds me too much about how the edgier (experimental would be a more appropriate term) aspects of cyberculture quickly fell to commercialism, leaving those in the community stranded.

The Ministry for the Blockchain

by Michael Szul on

I had heard bits and pieces about Kim Stanley Robinson's The Ministry for the Future, but it was mostly sitting on my wish list as something I'd get to in the future until the Exponential View reading group picked it for their book club. I decided to put some of my other reading on hold and dove in since I felt it would provide some good debate and discussion with other thinkers from across various industries.

Selling the New Edge

by Michael Szul on

If you're first exposure to Mondo 2000's narrative of the Internet was with The Cyberpunk Handbook you might have looked no further—sending it to the trash heap—not even fit for recycling. But those who grew up and explored the Internet during Mondo's days didn't live in reverse like we're doing with this look back at cyber history. The handbook was the final push of California cyberpunk satire, but Mondo did lived on the edge for a few years, much like the earlier zine version of Boing Boing.

How to Be a Cyberpunk

by Michael Szul on

In the last post, we had some fun reliving a little early 2000's Internet culture, but what we're doing here is digging deeper into the roots of cyberspace. That brief interlude was me reminiscing of a time when I was highly involved in an underground culture, while also checking in on an old friend and his work...

Faceless on the Internet

by Michael Szul on

Many my age still remember the years of personal bulletin board systems (BBS) when the Internet was young (and more explicitly tied to the telecoms). Eventually, cyberspace emerged as a collective of protocols with BBS, IRC chat channels, and UseNet newsgroups filling out additional communication channels. I remember following newly created UseNet newsgroups dedicated to the very first SciFi Channel original programming (long before it became whatever SyFy is supposed to stand for).

A Happy Mutant Reading

by Michael Szul on

I'm sure you're tired of hearing my opinion on Boing Boing at this point, so you'll be happy to know that this is the last Codepunk post and Apotheosis episode on the subject.

The Boing Boing Controversies

by Michael Szul on

Although the history of Boing Boing paints a picture of geek chic with a thriving community and an almost playful cyber-indulgence, the blog (and those running the blog) is not without the occasional head-turning controversy...

A History of Boing Boing

by Michael Szul on

Boing Boing was a zine before it became a web site, and although zines were not exclusive to the counterculture and cyberculture eras, the proliferation of zines reached its apex in the late 80's/early 90's.

One Billion Seconds from Now

by Michael Szul on

One billion seconds is a phrase that has accumulated usage over the course of our most recent evolution of memes. Representing a little over 31.5 years (which isn't nearly as fancy as saying one billion seconds)...

Giving the Finger to the Bird

by Michael Szul on

You can blame Ben Brown for this one. I mentioned Ben in the previous Apotheosis post. He's a current Microsoft engineer that works on the Bot Framework Composer, but made a name for himself...

Diversity in the Technology Industry

by Michael Szul on

For a significant time now being a software engineer—being a technology worker—has given us the impression that we are not labor. That we are not the working class.

Dreaming of Gopher's Past with the Gemini Protocol

by Michael Szul on

I miss the Gopher protocol. That's an odd statement to make because the Gopher protocol wasn't successful long-term and it had quite a few drawbacks, but the Gopher protocol was an Internet protocol...

Cyberia Old and New

by Michael Szul on

Every generation—once they reach around 40 years of age—starts to think about how things were when they grew up, and we all come to the same conclusion about how our childhood was better.

What We Learned from Max Headroom

by Michael Szul on

Modern culture siphons value from past generations in order to pre-package large quantities of the next big trend for quick financial extraction. The result of this is the raiding of authenticity from past generations into a pale meme of itself. Much of the modern generation seems to live off of memes, YouTube video clips, and recycled collage advertisements that fake and feed nostalgia.

Newsletters are Walling Off Your Freedom

by Michael Szul on

I often forget a lot of tech pundits come from the finance sector and it's not so much an expertise in technology as it is an expertise...

Communicate with People Instead of Networks

by Michael Szul on

Email. We used email. I slowly came to the realization that I hadn't done this much recently, feeling like email was a burden of communication instead...

What Does Quantum Computing Say about Free Will?

by Michael Szul on

This isn't going to be a hard science piece, so turn off your computer if you had high expectations. This is more a philosophical debate...

Understanding Pace Layers

by Michael Szul on

According to Brand and futurist Paul Saffo, pace layers are a framework for thinking about the health of society and how it functions. The idea originated in the Clock of the Long Now book published over two decades ago.

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